We’ve all been there. It’s Friday night and you’ve just gotten home from a horrible, traffic-filled commute after a dreadful, long week of work. The house is trashed, the kids are starving, the dog peed in the living room, there’s no food in the fridge and you’re getting really cranky.
That’s when you say it.
“OK, everyone, get in the car. We’re going out to eat.”
Throwing your goals to eat healthy and save money right out the window – sometimes literally.
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Beyond this all-too-familiar refrain, there are other times when we have a ready excuse for spending money we really shouldn’t spend. Here are the top five:
• Tired and cranky: Like the above scenario, anytime you’re tired and/or cranky, you’re heading for money-splurge disaster. Whether it’s after a long day at the office, or having been kept up all night by a newborn, if you’re tired and cranky you’re on the verge of money-spending temptation. The best idea is to calm yourself down and breathe. Count to 10 very, very slowly and see if there is any possible solution other than spending money.
• Visiting: If you’re visiting someone or someplace and you’re not near your home and stocked kitchen, you’re in the money excuse zone. Just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean you have to splurge. You can just as easily find a grocery store or veggie stand and pick up some fresh fruit and snacks for far less than heading to a restaurant or convenience store.
• Bored: When we’re bored, we’re tempted to do a bunch of negative things, from eating too much junk food, to going online and spending money we just don’t have. If you find yourself bored, pick up the phone and call a friend and tell them so. Say, “Hey, I’m about to spend a ton of money online. Can you talk me down, please?” They’ll relate and help you out.
• Depressed: Someone in the office criticized your work? Family member told you you’re getting a little chubby? When we’re depressed it’s easy to think some retail therapy is the quickest solution. It’s not. If you find yourself feeling blue, go outside and take a walk for 20 minutes and clear your head. Think about all the great things in your life that you have and are thankful for. Get your creative juices flowing; take out some pens and paper and draw something. Do something positive and step away from the brink of spending disaster.
• Jealous: Jealousy, they say, is a sin, and when you’ve just talked to an old friend who brags about their new house, car, trip to Europe and personal chefs, it’s easy to let loose the jealousy rage and head toward your closest computer to start buying, buying, buying. Don’t. Stop and remember that your jealousy is fleeting, but your credit card bill is with you for a very long time.